Pillars in action – Culture

An inclusive and empathic organisational culture

Australia has come a long way in confronting mental and physical health issues in the last decade. This has resulted in a cultural shift in the way in which workplaces address mental health and wellbeing. Staff are now increasingly open about discussing the insidious impacts of stigma. COVID-19 arguably accelerated these efforts, with all of us feeling its impact in one way or another. Noting this, there are always opportunities to further destigmatise mental and physical health issues in the workplace and work towards building a truly inclusive and empathic organisational culture at Monash.

The actions we're taking:

Expand current leadership training to develop leaders versed in cultural health across all levels.

  • Expand current approaches to leadership training to include:
    • greater emphasis on the importance of everyday attitudes and behaviours, communication habits (e.g email timing and tone), inclusivity and openly sharing workplace and career experiences.
    • advice and support to allow managers to achieve cultural goals. For example:
      • annual wellbeing goals for staff in myPlan
      • reaching women in leadership targets
      • sustainably supporting disadvantaged students
      • raising volunteering participation rates
      • employing more staff from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
  • Ensure leadership training is accessible and allows all staff the opportunity to extend themselves and be part of shaping Monash’s organisational culture.
  • Create a leadership training key performance indicator for all faculties and divisions that is internally reported; ‘what gets measured gets done.

Empower staff to raise health and wellbeing issues and advocate for sustained, practical cultural change.

  • Promote a culture of agency and respect that sees staff comfortable in advocating for cultural factors affecting everyday wellbeing:
    • destigmatisation of reporting harassment, discrimination and bullying.
    • disclosure of and support for disability (broadly defined)
    • expectations around duration and flexibility of accessing parental, partners and carers leave.
    • inclusive meeting scheduling.
  • Actively encourage promotion of policies, procedures, practices, services and resources designed to safeguard staff wellbeing (e.g through Workplace posts).
  • Provide clear, consistent guidance across Monash on what social connection and wellbeing activities are supported during work hours.
  • Remove barriers to improve equality of access to health and wellbeing resources across faculties, divisions and schools.

Provide increased opportunities for peer-to-peer connection on campus and online.

  • Sponsored opportunities and events for staff to come together and discuss common cases, such as at the breakfast event for the elimination of gender-based violence.
  • Explore incorporating various social inclusion activities into faculty, division and school’s KPIs.
  • Support for staff to participate in mentoring and networking opportunities with measures of connection.
  • Link new staff to Workplace interest groups that also host in-person events and connect virtual contacts.
  • Conduct surveys, focus groups and interviews with staff to assess the value of all initiatives in terms of cultural cohesion and feeling culturally connected to the community.